Sunday, March 9, 2008

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." Abraham Lincoln

Greetings friends and neighbors,

Many of you read this blog not because you agree with everything I have to say, but because you trust me to say it plainly and clearly without regard to any predispostions, or superficial politically correct nonsense.

This however, is my final blog entry. At my age I must take charge of my own health, happiness and that of my family. I hope you will understand.

I have recently spent six months trying to help all my neighbors in the district and community with their tax appeals and questions. And I finally have realized only legislative action will correct the injustices being suffered by so many due to onerous property taxation. My town is rapidly becoming a caretaker community without young people. Non resident part time vacation home owners are dominating once vibrant and thriving neighborhoods.

The more learned about state politics it is obvious the legislature has been taken over by real estate and developer interests. And fully half of the legislature is corrupted by real estate money. They must be taken on or the little people will continue to be ground into the dust while this nefarious influence continues to line its pockets at the little people's expense.

The local representative is so ignorant of what constitutes a conflict of interest he can not properly fill out a State COI Declaration. His two years in office have produced multiple Realtor Association sponsored (and perhaps authored) legislation, subdivision approval law which enables developers to bypass local planning commissions, and for two years he has sponsored a draconian deferral of property tax bill, also favored by his parent organization - the Realtor Association. A bill so disgusting I can not even repeat it here. (HB 357, 364, 463, 296, 78, 290) And he sat by as HB 466 "The Developer's Dream" Bill was passed without so much as a question. And after more than a year he waited until this 2008 session was almost finished before obvious "grandstanding and theater" lip service ineffectively for both this issue, as well as property tax reform.

Few if any seats in Weber County have four candidates, which should tell the GOP just how weak and dismal District 8 seat has performed. And if they were smart they would elect delegates to nominate another candidate instead of the incumbent. But no one is holding their breath, as the caucuses have been flooded with his relatives.

My family and I , do to a recent town council decision, have elected to make other plans for the future. Life is just too short to do otherwise.

Friends and neighbors scattered across this State have offered support as "soldiers" in the campaign. Many have begun to send unsolicited very generous donations and offers for full financial support. All I can say is a heartfelt thank you. Your donations will be returned and let's keep in touch. I wish you all the very best in the future.

Perhaps it is right that my little town become a ghost town of caretakers, except for wealthy non resident homeowners, to the delight of the Realtor Association and developer community. The Huntsville Town Council wills it so.

Minor Machman

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Session Wrapup Report

Greetings friends and neighbors,

I thought you might like to know what actually happened this session relative to property taxation issues and how the effort fared.

"It is 2 a.m. and the session is over. Despite our efforts, little was accomplished on the property tax side with the exception of killing bad bills such as tax deferral and creating special benefits for limited numbers of property tax payers.

We did introduce the AV concept but there just wasn't any urgency felt on the part of legislators to deal with property taxes.

Legislators were much more concerned about illegal immigration because that poses the most immediate threat to their reelection. People who would never have voted for an immigration bill were falling all over themselves to cast votes on these bills in order to show that they are doing something.

This is a good lesson for us. We need the same urgency if we are to pass property tax reform. Also, we need a carefully planned "messaging" program in order to get property taxes through. Many immigration bills passed because we put the focus on identity theft and got the veterans groups involved.

Property tax bills that passed included Harper's HB54 which requires annual (computer assisted mass) reassessments in the bigger counties, SB29 which makes relatively minor changes in Truth In Taxation (drops the voter approval for tax increases above inflation thanks to our legislature), and SB38 - Transparency, which now only applies to state government. (The Association of Counties. Utah League of Cities and Towns , etc. and their lobbyists killed accountability of County Governments. Another example of our tax money being used to lobby against we the people, yet for hiding accountability from we the people.)

The extra sessions of the Revenue and Tax Committee that were to study property taxes was rolled in with a couple of task force bills as HB490. That bill died on the House calendar so there is no formal authority for extra sessions of the Revenue and Taxation Interim committee to study property taxes. When I talked to Senator Niederhauser around 1 a.m., he indicated that the funding had been set aside for five extra Rev and Tax Committee sessions and he thought that he could get the extra committee sessions without a formal resolution.

The bill to replace the school portion of the property tax with the sales tax went no where and the property tax for reading programs was not repealed.

For those of you in St. George, Senator Hickman announced that he will retire from the Senate at the end of his current term. The word is that Steve Urquhart will go for his seat. I hope this makes sense. It is late and I'm really tired."

Thanks Ron from us all. You should be in the legislature if the people in Davis County only knew who and what they were voting for....


Minor Machman

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

News Release, D-Bell announces for District 8 seat currently held by Gage Froerer.

For more information Contact: Don Bell (“D-Bell”) at (801) 745-1419,

March 4, 2008
D.W. Bell announces his candidacy as a Democrat for the Utah State LegislatureDistrict 8 seat currently held by Gage Froerer

OGDEN – Don Bell, a decorated combat pilot as well as ("in")famous F-16 testpilot, announced today, March 4, that he will challenge Representative Gage Froerer for District 8 seat in the Utah Legislature.

“Enough is enough, it’s time to send people to Capitol Hill who will represent all the people and not just special interests, it is time to bring some integrity back into the people's business” Said Mr. Bell.

“While the people of District 8 were being abused by horrific property taxes, my opponent was ineffective and participated in a propaganda campaign for 5 months against true property tax reforms. It is time to hold him, and the special interests he represents, accountable for the ineffective leadership and representation. My opponent has represented his own business interests and those of his cronies in the Realtors Association and development industry, while neglecting his constituents.”

D-Bell has fought for taxpayer rights in Ogden Valley. He has worked to form coalitions across Utah to lobby for property tax fairness and reforms while assisting many of the elderly with their property taxes.

When elected he will demand fiscal accountability and transparency from government and strict oversight of developers and their sponsored legislation at the expense of the people.

“When my wife Kay and I chose to retire in Utah in 1978 the state was a frugal, conservative and well run place to raise our family. The political times have changed since then and we now find ourselves governed by a consortium of special interest groups and their well placed elected operatives. We must clean out those who have infiltrated our legislature and return to basic logic and common sense legislation. In order for our greatest legacy, our children and grandchildren, to be able to afford to live here we must lower taxes and clean up the way things are run in state government."

Mr. Bell is on record as stating: “I will continue a relentless fight for lower taxes, significant property tax reform, ethics and campaign finance reform, which I believe most Utahns favor, yet our current representative has rejected for 2 years."

Mr. Bell's stand on gifts:

"I do not understand how gift accepting could be a part of Utah politics. All gifts and large campaign donations come with expectations."

"My pledge is to not accept any “gifts” of any value from anyone after I'm elected. During the campaign I will only accept contributions in small amounts and from individuals only. I will not accept special interest or political lobby money in any amount."

"As a United States Air Force fighter pilot I accepted no gifts or bribes to do my duty, and as a representative of the people of district eight I will accept no gifts in any amount for my service."

"My opponent and his Realtor and developer cronies are a big part of the problem, not a part of the solution. It is time for a change”


D-Bell has lived in District 8 for 18 years and in Utah for 30 years. He and his wife of 42 years, “K-Bell”, raised two children in Davis County while he served as the Chief F-16 test pilot at Hill AFB.

Both D and K-Bell grew up in Southeast Arkansas. He worked to put himself through high school and the University of Arkansas (BA Business) and the University of N. Colorado (MA). After a year working on the Gemini Project in St. Louis, Bell joined the US Air Force where he completed pilot training. For the next 20 years he was on a mission for his Country. In Viet Nam he flew 188 combat missions in F-4 fighters. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and thirteen Air Medals, with 29 awards and decorations.

After the war he was selected for a special assignment with the Marine Corps where he attended Navy Top Gun school. While on his only staff assignment Bell helped to create and flew in an unprecedented 5 nation, 3 year, F-16 flight test program, based out of Hill AFB. He worked persistently with integrity and at times audacity, to insure a new concept of F-16 interoperability was successfully integrated into the European theater and NATO. Back at Hill AFB Bell flew production flight test missions. Returning to civilian life, Bell supervised engineers at Hill AFB for General Dynamics, for ten years before retiring.

Candidate Pledge:

D-Bell’s professional experience, honesty, tenacity and character will help all citizens of Utah, especially those concerned about legislative ethical behavior. He will work year round, without any conflicts of interest, representing his constituents ethically, honestly, and with dignity and professionalism.